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Boruto -Naruto Next Generations- – 36 »« Boruto -Naruto Next Generations- – 32, 33

Boruto -Naruto Next Generations- – 34, 35

「星降る夜」 (Hoshi Furu Yoru)
“The Night of The Shooting Stars”

Musings on the Nature of Friendship

Seeing everyone creating wonderful memories and working together as a team really took me back. To be exact, my week long trip with my registration class during secondary school, where we stayed at a field centre within Snowdonia National Park. What did we do for the whole time? Pretty much outdoor activities, like day long hikes and rock climbing. By the end of it all, I can confidently say that everyone was as thick as thieves. That bygone summer took place when I was twelve, and since then, we slowly drifted apart as time marched on without a second thought. While I’d be happy to see people during reunions, I no longer maintain extensive contact with anybody from that time in my life. This is precisely what Boruto finds himself battling against, only it is not a fight he can win with his fists alone. To that end, he seeks an alternate solution.

Consequently, Boruto mentally equates the consumption of Eternal Carp to creating eternal friendships, which seems rather naïve. But I cannot fault such a pure desire, and many times, I used to wish that there was a way of making friendships last forever. Unfortunately, good things must come to an end. Everything in existence is finite and at some point, we must all turn to dust. However, human emotions are intangible, so we cannot solely quantify it through a physical factor like existence. Therefore, we must look towards the perceivable motions it undergoes, in order to make assessment that can be contextual to our lives. As far as I can see, friendships ebb and flow like the tide. So for me, true friendship is being able to enjoy the limited time we have on this planet, then picking up exactly where we left off! Enjoy life as you wish, and worry about catching up later.

Omake

 

「三者面談…!!」 (Sansha Mendan…!!)
“The Parent Teacher Conference!”

Path of the Ninja Academy

I’m glad to see that parent’s evening in the ninja world isn’t too different from here. Excluding when Orochimaru stole the show (now imagine if a famous terrorist or serial killer walked into your parent’s evening!), I probably enjoyed Inojin’s experience the most. I also remember meekly sitting there, while my parents parsed through my grades.

On the other hand, in terms of future outlooks, I find myself relating to Boruto. Initially, I took my foray into a law degree, on the basis that it synergised with my existing skillset. At least in comparison with other traditionally sought after subjects: Economics, Engineering, Medicine, etc. While I’m certainly not a genius, there truly is an impasse that requires more than intellect to overcome. It feels really strange looking over to my other coursemates, who seem to have the rest of their lives figured out, allowing them to forge ahead with a single goal in mind. At the moment, like Boruto, I’m still figuring out what it is I truly want to do. If it’s any consolation for the boy and his insecurity, as Mitsuki suggests, at least he’s helping to make other people’s dreams and wishes slowly come to fruition.

Concluding Thoughts

The shinobi world has changed, following a transition from war into peacetime. Most prominently, as I brought up in an earlier post, nations are moving away from their previously militarised model of governing. Two examples we’ve seen so far are Konohagakure, which has opted towards a process of industrialisation, while the last arc indicates that Kirigakure rely upon trade and tourism to sustain their economy.

This episode, we discover that ninja academies no longer raise batch after batch of soldiers to partake in intra-continental conflicts. Instead, kids gain practical skills that highlight talent for prospective employers, and can be used in any future career of their choice. Such a shift is entirely reasonable, providing all sorts of choices regarding wider participation in a modern society, where the meaning of ‘ninja’ is slowly fading away.

However, a vacuum in military strength will leave the villages vulnerable against future calamities. For that reason, I think it’s still important to have an upkeep in personnel, especially in a world filled with powers that are both volatile and destructive. Considering how he expresses a clear disdain towards what he views to be a stagnating shinobi system, I can’t wait to see Kakashi’s role in revitalising the academy’s curriculum. It’s anyone’s guess as to what tricks he might be hiding up his sleeve for the upcoming graduation exam, but I would be extremely excited to see the bell test return!

Preview

December 2, 2017 at 8:56 am
11 comments »
  • December 2, 2017 at 9:50 amMistic

    I liked a lot how these two episodes explored Boruto’s character in ways a lot of children and adults can relate to (as in your case, Zaiden), all of them connected to the natural end of school.

    I also understand the fear of losing our friends once school is over. Sarada is blunt, but she’s right. Eternal friendship tends to be the exception rather than the norm. Still, it can exist, and like her I can’t fault Boruto for trying.

    Bonus: Sumire is back in the spotlight! And chibi Nue! Seriously, I see the whole scene with Boruto and Sarada as a small tease for all those love triangle shippers out there XD

    Oh, yeah, career issues. Honestly, I find it baffling that so many adults disapprove Boruto not having a clear idea about his future (even Hinata mistakes it for Boruto not wanting to be a ninja and assures him that even a non-ninja career is okay). He isn’t a teenager yet, and I know that as a teenager me and a lot of my friends didn’t have a clear idea either. But I realize that the Konoha curriculum is different, and since ninjas are basically elite soldiers that have to be trained from childhood, the decision to be a ninja or not must be made now.

    Bonus: all the worldbuilding, honestly. The meetings, the families and the overview about how a post-war scenario can affect a ninja village. There are a lot of stories out there who tell tales of wars and conflicts. But what happens when peace comes? I’m glad Boruto is willing to explore that scenario.

    • December 2, 2017 at 10:03 amZaiden

      Hey Mistic! Just some quick replies to your points. As always, thanks for your contributions. They’re awesome as ever!

      Eternal friendship tends to be the exception rather than the norm.

      I aspire to find something genuine. You know, that holy grail which Hachiman from Oregairu spoke of. Eternity would be a nice addition, but it isn’t a prerequisite for making my way through life.

      He isn’t a teenager yet, and I know that as a teenager me and a lot of my friends didn’t have a clear idea either.

      Coming from a teenager, I have absolutely no clue what I’m doing. It’s become apparent that a career in law isn’t as simple as doing the degree, and I’m struggling to network, which is essential for establishing communications leading to opportunities. I can’t deny that I was surprised to see adults disapprove of Boruto lacking a clear idea about the future, but I wouldn’t put it down to the curriculum. I’d put it down to their mindset, which is cultivated by a time of great conflict, where they saw many friends lose their lives. I can see how it would stick with them, even into times where this is no longer the case.

      There are a lot of stories out there who tell tales of wars and conflicts. But what happens when peace comes?

      A contemplation from Legend of the Galactic Heroes comes to mind, where Reinhardt wonders if the circumstances of extraordinary men might have been different, had they been born in times of peace, unable to fully exhibit their potential. Obviously, this won’t necessarily apply to Boruto, seeing how the future premonition indicates that Konoha’s peace comes to an end. But it’s still an interesting idea, and food for thought.

      • December 3, 2017 at 4:10 amMistic

        I’d put it down to their mindset, which is cultivated by a time of great conflict, where they saw many friends lose their lives. I can see how it would stick with them, even into times where this is no longer the case.

        Good point. A similar theme was explored in the kage summit.

        A contemplation from Legend of the Galactic Heroes comes to mind, where Reinhardt wonders if the circumstances of extraordinary men might have been different, had they been born in times of peace, unable to fully exhibit their potential. Obviously, this won’t necessarily apply to Boruto, seeing how the future premonition indicates that Konoha’s peace comes to an end. But it’s still an interesting idea, and food for thought.

        I’d consider that a version of the broken window fallacy. True, war is an exceptional time where certain talents that wouldn’t have the chance to shine otherwise get the spotlight, and people who wouldn’t have the opportunity to showcase them in more peaceful times can be recognized and rewarded. At the same time, though, those who don’t have those talents but could have led successful careers in peace may lose their opportunity or even their very lives because of the war.

        Again, I commend Boruto for having explroed that idea too. Iwabe complained that in previous times he would have already graduated and become a proper ninja. And he wasn’t wrong. On the other hand, this new environment gives more chances to people like Denki (so of course they had to team up and help each other XD).

  • December 2, 2017 at 10:26 amWorldwidedepp

    What Kakashi perhaps has in mind is “Suddenly Teamplay with anyone of the Town”, outside of their Teams they know for so long

    • December 2, 2017 at 10:27 amWorldwidedepp

      some are in command, some are the muscles and others the “brains” an so on.. Like the same as if earthquakes hit Japan. anybody knows what to do, right?

    • December 2, 2017 at 2:04 pmWorldwidedepp

      also, is he not also capable to cast this “Illusion world” ninja skill? Did he not copy it in the past? Perhaps he will use it

      • December 3, 2017 at 11:46 amZaiden

        Madara took Kakashi’s sharingan, and his original eye was subsequently restored by Naruto. While he temporarily gained both of Obito’s ocular powers, don’t let that confuse you. The effect wasn’t permanent, and is something I would put down to the power of friendship.

  • December 3, 2017 at 9:46 amJohnPeacekeeper

    These past two episodes have been nothing short of satisfying :D

    We’ve finally started to gain some meat. We explore quite a lot about each of the important characters by this point (New Konoha 10, even it some like Sumire don’t end up on a Genin team) and they’ve gotten quite familiar to us from motivation to upbringing to talents to interests (which is a LOT more than we got of Tenten).

    And yes, it’s extremely difficult to pick between BoruSumi and BoruSara, though I have to admit I’ve leaned over towards BoruSumi :3

    But before we continue, let us all salute the unsung hero that is Toneri Otsutsuki. Unappreciated and largely forgotten since the last, this one guy whose sole comfort is watching the Hyuuga from afar somehow became the only reason it took this long for Momoshiki to get through. And he’s been enduring the whole ordeal for what, 3-4 years, give or take? Man deserves a medal even with the whole moon drop thing.

    And more world-building is always welcome. What I’ve always wondered is how the setting can be so modern yet keep Shinobi relevant.

    I do find it a little odd though that specialized education for stuff like medicine, engineering, etc. potentially takes more years than graduating the general education at a Shinobi Academy and then getting promoted to Chuunin.

    And the latest episode is where I feel Boruto’s starting to feel like the one we remember from his titular movie. He has arguably as much or more talent than Itachi (who, while he has many fans, you have to remember that he had the Sharingan as a crutch and used it ridiculously extensively to the point that I think he had more scenes with it active than without), yet absolutely zero drive to use it for something constructive or even destructive–which yet again nicely contrasts Naruto and Hinata. This will keep going later on to the point he questions why he should even be a ninja and is essentially forced into taking the Chuunin exams.

    It does, though, show that Boruto is one of those people who, rather than reach for aspirations whether distant or far, would rather live in and for the moment. He’s a man of the present, rather than of the past or future, even if he does have a tendency to innovate on the fly (something both his father and future mentor are good at). And I think that’s a pretty good stance.

    It’s nice that he’s one good Shonen character that completely averts the “To Be a Master” trope that’s such a staple in the genre, instead featuring a protagonist who’d rather hold onto what exists rather than take something.

    And Kakashi is right, without something to drive him on, even if he can succeed at anything he wants, he won’t if he doesn’t actually want it bad.

    I’m looking forward to how Kakashi is gonna school this generation in the upcoming episode. Compared to his old Genin team, these kids have talent in abundance amongst themselves, and at least two of them were practically bred and raised to be weapons of war.

    • December 3, 2017 at 11:43 amZaiden

      Hey JohnPeacekeeper. Team Borusumi represent!

      I really liked how Toneri questions Boruto’s cruel battle against fate. In essence, they aren’t trying to top Naruto’s underdog story by repeating the same formula. That would have been a recipe for disaster. Instead, they’re building upon a legacy that was established by the former, focusing on an incredible genius, who comes against new struggles in rapidly changing times.

      Such changes are characterised through the world building, where the Hidden villages are in the process of demilitarisation, and conventional shinobi arts are becoming eschewed in favour of modern technology. How can ninjas thrive in a world, when peacetime negates their primary uses, and where an ordinary man could potentially match a highly skilled shinobi with the assistance of new weapons? Only time can tell, so for now, I’ll focus on enjoying the academy graduations.

  • December 3, 2017 at 10:16 amChris Hall

  • December 4, 2017 at 9:57 pmK

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